New Financing Option Is Designed to Support Energy and Resiliency Improvements to Commercial Buildings
FAIRFAX, Va. – Feb. 13, 2020 – Fairfax County officials announced today the launch of a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resiliency (C-PACE) program, a financing tool designed to encourage building owners to pursue energy-saving, water-saving and resiliency projects within commercial properties. Through the program, building owners looking to complete specific capital improvement projects can secure private funding which is then repaid via a special assessment.
C-PACE allows building owners to make substantial improvements to older buildings, or to add sustainable technologies to new buildings, with little or no up-front cost. The loans are typically long-term, sometimes tied to the useful life of the eligible improvement and carry with the property from one owner to the next. This lending model allows building owners to undertake large-scale projects and improvements with minimal initial capital outlays, preserving cash flow and producing near-term operational savings.
In November, the county awarded a C-PACE administrator contract to Virginia PACE Authority (VPA) following a competitive request for proposals process. The county is not involved in lending or in guaranteeing the collection of funds for this program but does levy a lien on each property and enforces the C-PACE assessment.
Notably, the C-PACE program in Fairfax County is the first program in Virginia to include provisions for resiliency improvements to buildings. Qualifying improvements would address risks due to flooding, high winds or extreme heat and would be independently verified by a professional engineer prior to financing being approved. The program also accommodates projects designed to address stormwater issues.
“The Fairfax County C-PACE program will support responsible, sustainable development of commercial property and will help ensure the long-term resiliency of our local and regional economy,” said Jeff McKay, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “By investing in projects to improve the energy efficiency, water use and resilience of their properties, commercial building owners commit to being good stewards of their resources and good citizens of our county.”
Fairfax County is home to thousands of businesses, including 10 Fortune 500 companies and 8,900 technology firms. Business interest in the county is expected to grow in the coming decade as the Metro Silver Line extension is completed and the redevelopment of Tysons continues.
*A previous version of this press release indicated that C-PACE loans are repaid via a property tax assessment. This version has been updated to reflect that fact that the repayment process is conducted via a special assessment.
Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination